Back to overview
Germany

Germany: Münster – Cologne or Cologne – Münster

In between castles, nature and industrial culture
Münster One way tour. Possible in both directions. Cologne
From €999 p.p.
new

Highlights of this tour

Cycling through several nature reserves

Visit UNESCO World Heritages Sites

Industrial and pub culture

Ship with max. 24 passengers

Guidance
  • Guided cycling: A tour leader will guide you during the cycling days
  • Independent cycling: No tour leader, the ships’ crew does daily briefing, independent cycling
guidance Independent cycling
Difficulty
  • Level 1: easy tours, very flat terrain
  • Level 2: quite easy tours, mostly flat terrain
  • Level 3: requires a higher level of exertion, medium hilly terrain
  • Level 4: for experienced cyclists, hilly terrain with climbs
Difficulty level 1 Difficulty level 1
Duration of the tour.
tijd2 Created with Sketch. 8 days

This bike tour combines the highlights of several very different routes. From the park landscape of the idyllic Münsterland region with its moated castles and palaces to a somewhat different culture in the Rhine-Ruhr region, which has undergone major changes in recent decades. Winding towers are now monuments to industrial culture, old colliery sites have become parks and cultural centers – all nestled in a surprisingly wide and green landscape in which the  industrial relics develop a romantic charm.

On the cycle routes you will experience the beauty of castles and historic architecture, creative towns and idyllic nature areas. In many cases, the route leads along a river or canal, on the banks of which numerous cafés, beer gardens or picnic areas with a view invite you to take a break. In Münster, Düsseldorf and Cologne you will also discover three of the most beautiful old towns in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The ship – Your sailing hotel
Your floating hotel, the cozy 24-passenger ship MS Quo Vadis, will accompany you and provide you with a comfortable stay on board at the end of each cycle route. In between cycling excursions, you cruise along with the ship, which travels to a new destination every day. You dine, sleep and eat breakfast on board. You’ll receive a packed lunch every day, and you can usually choose between a longer or shorter bike ride. It’s also possible to spend a day on board if you like. There are rental bikes on board, but you can also bring your own if you mention it when booking.

Perfect for more experienced cyclists
With a detailed map of the area and a suggested route for close-range explorations, you decide where you head and how fast you ride. During the evening prior to next day’s cycling tour, the ship’s crew will explain some difficult parts, offer tips about the nicest places to stop for a drink or lunch, and mention the best highlights. In case of emergencies or problems, the crew can be contacted. But – as the ship is sailing to the next port – they can only offer assistance by phone.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Historic “city of peace” Münster
  • Nordkirchen Castle, the „Westphalian Versailles”
  • Nature reserve Lippeauen on the Roman-Lippe cycle route
  • UNESCO World Heritage Zollverein Coal Mine
  • Lake Baldeney and Ruhr Valley Cycle Route
  • Niederbergbahn panorama bike path
  • Angertal nature reserve
  • Museums and pub culture in the old town of Düsseldorf
  • Zollfeste Zons on the Rhine
  • Roman city of Cologne with the Cologne Cathedral (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

 

We would like to inform you about the vaccination and health requirements for the bike cruises with the Quo Vadis:
The so-called 2-G rule applies to this voyage, which means that a digital or printed vaccination certificate, (with QR code) or a certificate of convalescence from Covid-19 (maximum 6 months old) must be presented during check-in for participation in this cycling and sailing voyage until further notice. The application of this rule has been made with regard to the health and safety of the guests and limited availability of testing opportunities during the trip. This obligation may be amended, modified, or waived in the event of changes in official requirements or changes in the epidemiological situation.

Day to day program Münster to Cologne

Day 1: Embarkation in the Historic “city of peace” Münster 

Embarkation at 4 p.m. in the city harbor at the Kreativkai in the center of Münster. In the afternoon you will still have time to stroll around the Prinzipalmarkt in the historic old town of Münster, visit the Friedenssaal or have a coffee with an unobstructed view of the impressive cathedral. At 6 pm is Reception on board with sparkling wine followed by dinner at 6.30 pm.

Day 2: Münster – Lüdinghausen – Datteln (61 km/37.1 mi. and 176 m uphill or 48 km/29.1 mi. and 152 m uphill)

Along the beautiful river bank you cycle along the Werseradweg through the green park landscape of the Münsterland until you follow the 100 castles route from Albersloh. After the manor houses Haus Bisping and Haus Borg you can admire the Westphalian Versailles, Schloss Nordkirchen, in the middle of a large baroque park. Along the banks of the Stever River, you will cycle into Lüdinghausen. There you are going to reach Vischering Castle. Circumnavigate the stunning Gräftenring and nearby Lüdinghausen Castle before re-entering the ship in order to travel via the Dortmund-Ems Canal to Datteln.

Day 3: Datteln – Lünen – Werne – Hamm (45–59 km/27.2-36.1 mi. and 190–227 m uphill)

Along the Lippe River, the route leads to Lünen and the listed Victoria coal mine settlement. After a few kilometers through nature and forest, Cappenberg Castle appears. About halfway along the way, the historic old town of Werne invites to a stop at the market square with a view on the old town hall. On the Römer-Lippe route, you then cycle surrounded by waterways. A dam leads in between the Lippe and the Datteln-Hamm Canal to Maximilianpark in Hamm, the first renaturalized coal mine site in Germany. Here, a special adventure park has been created: with lakes, art, a butterfly house, the 40m high glass elephant and relics of the mining era. Alternatively, to Oberwerries Castle in the Lippe meadows north of Hamm. At the end of the day, you will go back from Hamm to Datteln by ship.

Day 4: Datteln – Gelsenkirchen (44 km/27.6 mi. and 210 m uphill (shorter route 35 km/21.1 mi. possible)

Today is all about to industrial culture. The old ship lift is the first spectacular structure you can visit. It was not until its completion in 1899 that the Dortmund-Ems Canal could be navigated all the way to Dortmund Harbor. From the ship lift, you will continue along the Industrial Culture Route to the heath and forest landscape of the Resser Mark. The Rhine-Herne Canal, the former Henrichenburg, Bladenhorst Castle, the Museum “Strom und Leben” and the former Recklinghausen II Colliery including its historic winding tower are on your route. Th e ship will be waiting for you in Gelsenkirchen harbor. Th e longer route includes a detour to Herten Castle and the idyllic old village of Westerholt. Here you can have another drink in the castle garden or on the village square surrounded by half-timbered houses before cycling to the city port of Gelsenkirchen.

Day 5: Gelsenkirchen – Mülheim an der Ruhr (49 km/30.7 mi. and 240 m uphill)

You cycle along the Rhine-Herne Canal on the 7-bridge cycle path to the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex (UNESCO World Heritage Site). A walk across the grounds offers ever new vantage points of the imposing steel and brick facilities in Bauhaus architecture. The Ruhr Museum and the Red Dot Design Museum with 2000 exhibits are located on the grounds. After the many impressions, the cycle path then leads you to the banks of the Ruhr and to Lake Baldeney, the largest of the 6 Ruhr reservoirs. Villa Hügel, the home of the Krupp family of industrialists, is worth a short detour. From here you follow the RuhrtalRadweg to Mülheim an der Ruhr. Alternatively (shorter route) from Stoppenberg via the Ruhr cycle path to Mülheim. Around the city harbor there is much to discover: among others, the Aquarius Water Museum, Styrum Castle Park and the MüGa State Garden Show Park.

Day 6: Mülheim/Ruhr – Düsseldorf (50 km/31.1 mi. and 348 m uphill (flatter route possible)

Via the Ruhr cycle path and along the Ruhr floodplains, you will first reach the Kettwiger reservoir. Cycle a bit on the Niederbergbahn panoramic bike path, an old railroad track that climbs a bit in parts, but also rewards you with very beautiful views. Along the Anger River, floodplain forests alternate with green meadows. Haus Anger and Gräfgenstein Castle, visible from afar, still bear witness to the age of knights. During a break in the beer garden of the Auermühle, you can relax and recharge for the remaining last kilometers. For those interested, the Cromford Textile Factory Museum, located in an old English landscape park, offers insights into cotton spinning 200 years ago. Cycle through the green countryside past Kalkum Castle to the banks of the Rhine and after a few kilometers on the Rhine Cycle Path reach the Quo Vadis landing stage in Düsseldorf. End the evening on the Rhine promenade and soak up the atmosphere of the special pub culture of the Rhenish metropolis.

Day 7: Düsseldorf – Rhine Cycle Route – Cologne (48 km/29.1 mi. and 159 m uphill)

Along the Rhine, the route first leads to Benrath Palace, one of the most beautiful late Baroque garden palaces in Europe. After this ornate complex, the path through the floodplain landscape of the Urdenbacher Kämpe with pollarded willows and hundreds of apple and pear trees is an enchanting contrast. You change the banks of the Rhine and the customs fortress of Zons with its mill and city wall transports you unawares to the Middle Ages. After a leisurely stretch through the green meadows of the Rhine, the backdrop becomes industrial once again in view of the Ford factories on your right. The Rhine on your left leads you directly to the old Roman city of Cologne, where the barge awaits you in the central Rheinauhafen.

Day 8: Cologne

After breakfast end of the trip.

Good to know
  • Cycling route distances in the travel program are approximate.
  • Tour profile: The routes are easy to ride and have low gradients. They follow Westphalian pättkes (quiet asphalt farm roads and hard sanded bike paths through nature), river bike paths, railroad tracks and well-signposted regional quality bike routes with good infrastructure. Only short stretches lead through urban areas. Day 6 is a bit more strenuous with some  elevation gain north of Düsseldorf.
  • On some days you can choose between a longer and a shorter cycling route. Please note that on the shorter routes you may not be able to visit all the highlights mentioned.
  • If you prefer not to cycle on a particular day, you’re welcome to stay on board and relax while the ship cruises to the next landing place.
  • The tour itinerary and route are subject to possible changes due to nautical, technical or meteorological reasons, or other unforeseen events.

Day to day program Cologne - Münster

Day 1: Cologne

Embarkation at 4 p.m. in the ancient Roman city of Cologne, where the barge awaits you in the central Rheinauhafen.
Take a walk across the Domplatte and through the alleys of Cologne‘s old town. 18:00 Reception on board with sparkling wine followed by dinner at 18:30.

Day 2: Cologne – Rhine Cycle Route – Düsseldorf (48 km/29.1 mi. and 159 m uphill)

Today you cycle from the Cologne harbor through the industrial backdrop of the Ford factories directly into the green meadows of the Rhine. From here you will go to the customs fortress of Zons. It’s town wall and charm take you back to the Middle Age. You can relax on the riverbanks at the Rhine and follow the cycle path through the floodplain landscape of the Urdenbacher Kämpe with pollarded willows and hundreds of apple and pear trees. Shortly afterwards you reach Benrath Palace, one of the most beautiful late Baroque garden palaces in Europe. The last kilometers of the day‘s stage lead along the Rhine bends via Vollmerswerth to Düsseldorf harbor. End the evening on the Rhine promenade and soak up the atmosphere of the special pub culture of the Rhenish metropolis.

Day 3: Düsseldorf – Mülheim/Ruhr (50 km/ 31.1 mi. and 348 m uphill (flatter route possible)

The first few kilometers are a relaxed cycle along the Rhine to Kaiserswerth and Kalkum Castle. Passing the Angermunder See lake, you cycle through the green countryside towards the Angertal valley. The Cromford Textile Factory Museum, located in an old English landscape park, offers interested visitors an insight into cotton spinning 200 years ago. Along the river Anger, floodplain forests alternate with green meadows. Haus Anger and Gräfgenstein Castle, visible from afar, still bear witness to the age of chivalry.
The beer garden of the Auermühle, one of many along the Anger, is ideal for a break at the water. Later on, you cycle along the Niederbergbahn panoramic cycle path, an old railway line. There are small slopes, but it also offers you exceptionally beautiful views. Soon you reach the Kettwiger reservoir and the Ruhr. Always close to the riverbank, the route leads to Mülheim an der Ruhr. There is much to discover around the city harbor, including the Aquarius Water Museum, Styrum Castle Park and the MüGa State Garden Show Park.

Day 4: Mülheim an der Ruhr – Gelsenkirchen (49 km/30.8 mi. and 260 m uphill)

The Ruhr Valley Cycle Route takes you to Lake Baldeney, the largest of the 6 Ruhr reservoirs. Villa Hügel, the home of the Krupp family of industrialists, is worth a short detour. Follow the river through the Heisinger Ruhraue nature reserve, an old arm of the Ruhr, to Essen. A highlight of industrial culture awaits you in the north of the city in the form of the Zollverein Coal Mine (UNESCO World Heritage Site). A walk through the grounds offers you new perspectives of the imposing steel and brick Bauhaus architecture. The RuhrMuseum and the Red Dot Design Museum with 2000 exhibits are located on the grounds. Continue cycling along the Rhine-Herne Canal via the 7-bridges cycle path to the ship‘s berth in Gelsenkirchen. Alternatively, you can go (shorter route) from Mülheim to Stoppenberg via the Ruhr cycle path.

Day 5: Gelsenkirchen – Datteln (44 km/27.6 mi. and 200 m uphill (shorter route 35 km possible)

Today is again a day of contrasts between exciting industrial culture and nature. From the port of Gelsenkirchen you cycle into the forest landscape of the Resser Mark, past the Ewaldsee lake to the Rhine-Herne Canal. You follow the route of Industrial Culture with  he former Recklinghausen II Colliery with its historic winding tower, the Museum Strom und Leben, Bladenhorst Castle and the former Henrichenburg. The old ship lift is one of the most spectacular structures on the Route of Industrial Heritage. It was not until it was completed in 1899 that the Dortmund-Ems Canal could be navigated all the way to Dortmund harbor. From here it is not far to the ship that awaits you in the port of Datteln.
The longer route includes a detour to Herten Castle and the idyllic old village of Westerholt. Here you can enjoy a drink in the castle garden or on the village square surrounded by half-timbered houses.

Day 6: Datteln – Lünen – Werne – Hamm (45–59 km/27.1-36.1 mi. and 190–227 m uphill)

Along the re-naturalized river Lippe, the route leads to Lünen and the listed coal-mining settlement of Victoria. After a few kilometers through a forest, Cappenberg Castle soon appears. About halfway along the route, the historic old town of Werne offers a stop at the  market square with a view of the old town hall. On the Römer-Lippe route you then cycle to the right and left of waterways. 

Day 7: Datteln – Lüdinghausen – Münster (61 km/37.1 mi. and 166 m uphill or 48 km/29.1 mi. and 152 m uphill)

During breakfast the ship departs and sails along the Dortmund-Ems Canal to Lüdinghausen, known as the 3-castle town. Vischering Castle exudes medieval flair and can be reached quickly from the pier. Cycle around the picturesque Gräftenring and the nearby Lüdinghausen Castle before getting back on the bike for the last stage of the trip. Along the banks of the Stever you cycle out of the town into the Westphalian countryside with fields, ramparts and farms. Soon the Westphalian Versailles, the magnificent Nordkirchen Castle, is in sight. Admire the large baroque park with moats and sculptures. Continue on the 100 castles route: After the manor houses Haus Borg and Haus Bisping, you will reach the enchanting riverbank of the Werse behind Rinkerode. Follow the Werseradweg cycle path through the green park landscape to the city of peace, Münster. The ship is moored in the city harbor at the Kreativkai in the center of Münster. A visit to the historic old town is worthwhile: visit the historic Friedenssaal (Peace Hall) or enjoy the view of the impressive cathedral, the gabled houses on Prinzipalmarkt and the old town hall in one of the street cafés.

Day 8: Münster

End of the tour after breakfast.

Good to know
  • Cycling route distances in the travel program are approximate.
  • Tour profile: The routes are easy to ride and have low gradients. They follow Westphalian pättkes (quiet asphalt farm roads and hard sanded bike paths through nature), river bike paths, railroad tracks and well-signposted regional quality bike routes with good infrastructure. Only short stretches lead through urban areas. Day 6 is a bit more strenuous with some  elevation gain north of Düsseldorf.
  • On some days you can choose between a longer and a shorter cycling route. Please note that on the shorter routes you may not be able to visit all the highlights mentioned.
  • If you prefer not to cycle on a particular day, you’re welcome to stay on board and relax while the ship cruises to the next landing place.
  • The tour itinerary and route are subject to possible changes due to nautical, technical or meteorological reasons, or other unforeseen events.

Prices & information

Prices & availability

Below you see an overview of the available (blue) dates; the yellow dot means that this date has 2 or less cabins available, orange is ‘on request’ and red means that on this date there aren’t any cabins available. Then click on the preferred date. After this, choose your ship (some tours have only one ship, and therefore there is no choice), the number of cabins in the required (and available) category, any desired additional products, and ‘local costs’ (such as special dietary needs, which you usually pay for onboard). On the right side, you’ll find the ‘Booking Summary.’ After completing your preferences and necessary information click ‘Book now’ to finalize your booking.

  • Available
  • 2 or less available
  • On request
  • Not available
Departure date -

Choose preferred ship

Please select your cabin(s)

Pricing overview - 2022
Cabin type For all dates
Twin cabin on lower deck 2 pers. € 999 Twin cabin for single use 1 pers. € 1299
Included in this tour
  • 8 days/7 nights
  • 7 x breakfast
  • 6 x lunch/packed lunches
  • 5 x 3-course dinner and 1x 4-course dinner on board
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Welcome drink
  • Use of bed linen and towels
  • Daily cleaning of the cabin
  • Daily briefings by the crew
  • Maps and notes for cycling tours (1 set per cabin)
  • GPS tracks
  • Use of a waterproof pannier bag
  • Use of a bike helmet
  • Wi-Fi
  • SGR Insolvency protection
Excluded in this tour
  • 1x dinner (Mülheim an der Ruhr)
  • Drinks
  • Bicycle rental or e-bike rental
  • Personal insurances
  • Gratuities (at your discretion)
  • Entrance fees and excursions
  • Fees for ferries
  • Transfers to/from the docking places
  • Parking fees
Additional options & information - 2022
  • Rental bicycle: € 85 per week
  • Rental E-Bike: € 185 per week (only on request, limited number available)
  • You can find a description of the bicycles when you click on ship.
  • Own bicycles can be brought by appointment at no extra charge.
  • Return transfer Münster–Cologne / Cologne–Münster: € 69 p.p. (By bus | Including luggage and own bike p.p.)

 

Parking possibilities:

  • Cologne: There are several car parks in the vicinity of the mooring. Recommended: Underground car park Köln Weidmarkt, Blaubach 1, 50676 Cologne (approx. 1.2 km from the berth, costs approx. € 18.50 per 24 hours).
  • Münster: Public parking garage Cineplex (€ 4 per night) near the harbor, about 800 m from the berth.

 

Partner tour: Legal notice: Boat Bike Tours is not the organizing operator, but the travel agent for this tour; this is a so called ‘partner tour’, available on request. Tour operator is: Travelydays Nederland BV, Enschede, The Netherlands.



Available ships for this tour

Premium Experience the higher levels of comfort, smaller groups and extra’s.
Ship Quo Vadis France, Germany

Covered sun deck

Piano/guitar

Free coffee and tea 24/7

Individually controlled air conditioning

max. 24 passengers
12 cabins
1 tours available with this ship

Related tours

Koblenz One way tour. Possible in both directions. Merzig
Koblenz - Merzig or Merzig - Koblenz Fine Riesling wines and Roman history

Gentle cycling through vineyards

Roman history in Trier

Taste the region’s fine Riesling wines

Barges with max. 20 passengers

Duration of the tour.
tijd2 Created with Sketch. 8 days
Guidance
  • Guided cycling: A tour leader will guide you during the cycling days
  • Independent cycling: No tour leader, the ships’ crew does daily briefing, independent cycling
guidance Guided cycling
Difficulty
  • Level 1: easy tours, very flat terrain
  • Level 2: quite easy tours, mostly flat terrain
  • Level 3: requires a higher level of exertion, medium hilly terrain
  • Level 4: for experienced cyclists, hilly terrain with climbs
Difficulty level 1 Difficulty level 1
Cochem One way tour. Possible in both directions. Metz
Premium Experience the higher levels of comfort, smaller groups and extra’s.
Cochem - Metz or Metz - Cochem Premium Fine German wines and rich Roman history

Gentle vineyard biking in 3 countries

Learn about Roman history in Trier

Taste the region’s fine Riesling wines

Barge with max. 31 passengers

Duration of the tour.
tijd2 Created with Sketch. 8 days
5 stars
9 Reviews
Guidance
  • Guided cycling: A tour leader will guide you during the cycling days
  • Independent cycling: No tour leader, the ships’ crew does daily briefing, independent cycling
guidance Guided cycling
Difficulty
  • Level 1: easy tours, very flat terrain
  • Level 2: quite easy tours, mostly flat terrain
  • Level 3: requires a higher level of exertion, medium hilly terrain
  • Level 4: for experienced cyclists, hilly terrain with climbs
Difficulty level 1 Difficulty level 1

Your selected tour:

Germany: Münster – Cologne or Cologne – Münster

Request a quote

  • Please enter a number from 1 to 150.
  • Month (March until October) and year
  • Your data